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Android Lollipop Review: Google's Material Design Delivers The Goods

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Android
Reviews

Regardless of the tinkering Google's engineers have done under the bonnet, the most noticeable improvement has to be the overall look. Google is calling Android's fetching new aesthetic "Material Design" and it's all about giving the OS a more welcoming look. It's mostly flat colours, clever use of shadow and UI elements which look like layers of paper stacked on top of one another. Google has left behind the world of skeuomorphic design ­–– just like Apple did with iOS 7 –– and the end result is something that looks less cluttered and more eye-catching.

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High end dev board taps Allwinner’s octa-core A80 SoC

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Android
Linux

Merrii announced a high end, Android- and Linux-ready “H88 Hummingbird” SBC based on the octa-core Cortex-A15/-A7 Allwinner A80 SoC.

The second-generation Raspberry Pi 2 managed to maintain its $35 price despite moving to a quad-core Cortex-A7 system-on-chip, but faster, pricier quad- and octa-core ARM SoCs haven’t seen as much traction in the single board computer scene. Yet, just as we’ve seen a lot of SBCs based on the Cortex-A7 based Allwinner A20 or Cortex–A9 based Allwinner A31, several companies and community projects are now trying out the octa-core Allwinner A80. The A80 combines four Cortex-A15 and four Cortex-A7 cores in a Big.Little configuration.

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Dell's super thin, aluminum Venue 8 7000 is a surprisingly solid Android tablet

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Android
Gadgets

But companies are indeed bothering to make new designs and try different approaches to the tried and true tablet formula. The latest of which is Dell, which recently launched the clumsily named Venue 8 7000 Series (I’m just going to call it the Venue 8). The $399 Venue 8 is part of a design renaissance at Dell (along with the new XPS 13 laptop), showcasing premium materials and killer displays. It also acts as a vehicle for some never-before-seen mobile technologies from Intel. There are really two things that matter with the Venue 8, and they're why anyone is spending time talking about it: its design and its camera array.

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Russia to Help Developers to Port Their Apps to Sailfish OS and Tizen from Android and iOS

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Android
Linux

He was replying to a lad, telling him that they are going to help developers to port their applications from iOS and Android Monopoly to Sailfish OS and Tizen.

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Can Android One prove successful?

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Android

Part of the allure of Android One was that it would bring faster, almost Nexus-like updates to lower end phones, promising an affordable offering that would still provide a decent Android experience. With the slow update to Lollipop and the fact that sale numbers are reportedly not all that high, is Android One delivering on this promise? That’s exactly what we wish to discuss for this week’s Friday Debate. Can Android One prove to be a success, despite a somewhat slow start, or with so many other affordable devices is it a largely unnecessary program?

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Also: Video: Check out Google’s best TV commercial yet for Android

5 Best Android Phones [February, 2015]

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Android

If you can help it, you’d be wise to hold off on buying a new Android smartphone in the month of February. For those of you that can’t help it, we’ve put together a list of the best Android smartphones money can buy this month.

This month isn’t a good month for smartphoneshoppers. We’re currently just a few weeks out from two major smartphone launches, the Samsung Galaxy S6 and HTC One M9, and those that can wait for those launches should wait for those launches. The Galaxy S6 and HTC One M9 are expected to replace the Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8 and both are expected to be two of the top devices of the year.

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Best Android Tablets [February, 2015]

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Android

Over the past year some excellent Android tablets have been released to rival Apple’s popular iPad lineup, and choosing the right one can sometimes be difficult. These days consumers have a lot of choices and making a decision isn’t going to be easy. This is especially true for the average buyer that doesn’t keep up with the latest and greatest device announcements, or know about budget options released during the year.

With 2015 finally here many consumers are looking for tablets, but you may want to wait and see what manufacturers have in store for this year. That said, we’ve gathered a list of some of the best Android tablets available today in an effort to help readers and prospective buyers choose not only the best tablet for them, but one that is at wallet friendly price and not a cheap piece of junk.

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Xiaomi’s MIUI 6 OS adds style and function to Android

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Android

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi launched its 2014 flagship, the Mi 4, in India last week, and the device is set to on sale on Tuesday in the country for about $325.

While the phone isn’t exactly new, it does come with the latest version of MIUI, the company’s own flavor of Android. The Mi 4 is Xiaomi’s first device to get the update in English.

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Also: Lumicall's 3rd Birthday (secure SIP on Android)

The first Tizen smartphone isn’t an “Android killer”—it’s a bad Android clone

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Android
Linux

This is the Samsung Z1—the world's first Tizen phone. After one of the bumpiest pre-launch situations in recent memory, Samsung's home-grown OS has finally hit smartphones.
Tizen, if you'll recall, is Samsung's "Android Killer." While Samsung rose to power on a wave of Android devices, it was also quietly developing its own OS in the background. If Samsung ever got tired of Google's Android requirements, Tizen would be there as a cold war threat and good negotiation leverage for Google Play licensing talks.

Samsung and Android rocketed up the market share charts together, but was Android successful because of Samsung, or was Samsung successful because of Android? Tizen was supposed to answer that question.

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Is the iPhone really better than Android phones?

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Android
Mac

My feeling is that we ought to be grateful that people have a choice. I can’t imagine anything worse than one platform dominating any particular market completely. We saw what that looked like on the desktop when Microsoft ruled the roost with Windows back in the 90s, and it wasn’t pretty.

I wouldn’t want Android or iOS to completely dominate the mobile phone market. In fact, I’d much rather there were a strong third or fourth choice available as well. It’s never a good idea for one or two companies or platforms to have too much power or control over consumers.

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More in Tux Machines

Linux Kernel 4.15 Reached End of Life, Users Urged to Move to Linux 4.16 Now

After a very busy cycle due to the Meltdown and Spectre security vulnerabilities, which were publicly disclosed earlier this year and later discovered to put billions of devices using modern processors at risk of attacks, the Linux 4.15 kernel series was released at the of January heavily redesign against two critical hardware bugs. Now, nearly three months and only eighteen maintenance updates later, the Linux 4.15 kernel series reached end of life and it will no longer receive support. As such, all those using a kernel from the Linux 4.15 branch on their GNU/Linux distributions are urged to upgrade to the latest Linux 4.16 kernel series as soon as possible. Read more

LibreOffice 6.1 Lands Mid August 2018, First Bug Hunting Session Starts April 27

Work on the next big release of the widely-used open-source and cross-platform office suite for GNU/Linux, macOS, and Microsoft Windows operating systems, LibreOffice 6.1, has already begun this week with a focus on revamping the online experience and improving the Writer and Calc components. A first bug hunting session was scheduled for the end of next week, on April 27, 2018, when developers will hack on the first alpha milestone of LibreOffice 6.1, which should be available to download for all supported platforms a few days before the event. During the bug hunting session, devs will try to fix as many bugs as possible. Read more

This Chart Shows How The Radeon RX 580 vs. GeForce GTX 1060 Now Compete Under Linux

It was just last year that open-source RadeonSI/RADV developers were trying to get the Radeon RX 580 "Polaris" GPU to be competitive with the GeForce GTX 1060 as it is under Windows given each GPU's capabilities. We've seen the RX 580 and GTX 1060 dancing under Linux the past few months and yesterday's 20-way GPU comparison with Rise of the Tomb Raider was quite significant -- perhaps most surprising being how well the RX 580 performed. Heck, just one or two years ago it was an accomplishment seeing any official Radeon driver support at-launch for new Linux game releases. So here are some extensive tests looking closer at the GTX 1060 vs. RX 580 battle in this latest Vulkan-powered Linux game port. Read more

Linux 4.9.95

I'm announcing the release of the 4.9.95 kernel. All users of the 4.9 kernel series must upgrade. The updated 4.9.y git tree can be found at: git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-4.9.y and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser: http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-st... Read more